Krispy Kreme's New Healthy Promises Are Full of Holes

Kim Conte

krispy kreme doughnutsKrispy Kreme has announced that it will expand its menu to offer coffee and healthy items for health-conscious consumers. But forgive me if I can't help but wonder whether I and the company famous for its sinfully sugary, warm glazed doughnuts have different criteria as to what actually is considered to be "healthy."

Can this chain really just snap its fingers and convince us that even though its signature Glazed-Kreme Filled Doughnut is 340 calories a pop, it can still be considered a healthy breakfast destination? Let's ponder what it's promising with this new announcement:

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Krispy Kreme CEO James Morgan plans to add oatmeal, yogurt, and fruit juice -- as well as specialty coffee like espresso and lattes -- to the original menu. Sounds healthy enough ... until you remember what happened when McDonald's added oatmeal as a "wholesome" healthy option last year: New York Times columnist Mark Bittman famously found it to be little more than expensive junk food -- with only 10 fewer calories than a McD's cheeseburger.

Therefore, at least until it proves otherwise, we should maybe be skeptical of these "healthy" options given they're coming from a company that's so synonymous with tasty albeit bad-for-you dessert.

Of course, it makes perfect sense why Krispy Kreme is making a move toward a more healthy menu now: The popularity of the Atkins diet hurt the chain significantly. Only recently has it been more successful again, and the company is hoping the new healthy items will add to the momentum of sales. Moreover, Krispy Kreme claims healthy options are something its customers have been requesting for a while now; and, if it's hoping to compete with the likes of Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts, this would seem like the only way to go.

Still, I'm having a hard time imagining myself ordering healthy oatmeal when I could have that lovely, sugary, warm Krispy Kreme doughnut in front of me instead ... KK's announcement also included some news about testing Doughnut Milkshakes -- Original Glazed, Chocolate Cake, and Raspberry Filled -- in select stores. Now, that sounds more like the Krispy Kreme I've come to know and love. This healthy stuff, however? It's going to take some time for me to accept.


Image via Elaine Ross Baylon Photography/Flickr

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